/ Ice Axe Sharpening / Shaping

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neuromancer - on 14 Nov 2012
I've seen the UKC article on what to use for sharpening, and how to hold the axe e.t.c. but I couldn't find anything on shaping the end of the blade.

I bought a pair of secondhand flys (see other thread), and the blades look like this:

http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/6828/dsc05669vf.jpg

I want them to look like this:

http://www.cotswoldoutdoor-static.com/productimages/large/E71200160000.jpg

But I can't do that as the end piece of metal that acts as the pick rest is gone and only a spike remains. Should I sharpen two of the end teeth off? Three? This would result in a flat piece that is above the level of the prior teeth. Should I make new teeth? Is this axe blade done for - retire it to drytooling and buy another?

Or should I just sharpen the teeth and top and allow the axe blade to use its front few teeth as a stop in the ice?
iksander on 14 Nov 2012
neuromancer - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to neuromancer:

Thanks for the link. It's a good tip, but it doesn't really answer my problem; which is where to go from a position of already having lost the front arch.

If I put an arch in the size he shows i'd have one or two small teeth on each blade only.

Is that ok?
CurlyStevo - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to neuromancer: n reply to neuromancer:
I'd be very wary of sharpening too many teeth off. I did this before taking the teeth back about maybe 1.5 to 2 cm. Of course in hard ice this is the bit doing all the work, and it made my axes slip out of the placements very easily.

If you just sharpen the tip and top of the blades they'll be fine for your use. You won't be needing a defined tip for many years if ever! It's mainly usefull for hard mixed.
neuromancer - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Even if I don't cut a definition, I still need a platform at the end for the pick to hold in, no?
jkarran - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to neuromancer:

You're overthinking it, clean them up with a file so they're not quite so blunt by all means but they look like they do for a reason, when you use them they get battered!

jk
CurlyStevo - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to neuromancer:
I don't think the flat bottom to the tip makes much difference on ice / turf. You won't be putting the tip of your pick on holds until harder than I've mixed climbed. I can't imagine it being essential/usefull until atleast tech 6. Seeing as you're new to winter climbing I'd leave it alone. Taking teeth off can do more harm than good.
Ross McGibbon - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to jkarran:
> You're overthinking it, clean them up with a file so they're not quite so blunt by all means but they look like they do for a reason, when you use them they get battered!

He's right, you know.


neuromancer - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Ross McGibbon:

Who is? NOW i'm confused.
timjones - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to neuromancer:
> I've seen the UKC article on what to use for sharpening, and how to hold the axe e.t.c. but I couldn't find anything on shaping the end of the blade.
>
> I bought a pair of secondhand flys (see other thread), and the blades look like this:
>
> http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/6828/dsc05669vf.jpg
>
> I want them to look like this:
>
> http://www.cotswoldoutdoor-static.com/productimages/large/E71200160000.jpg
>
> But I can't do that as the end piece of metal that acts as the pick rest is gone and only a spike remains. Should I sharpen two of the end teeth off? Three? This would result in a flat piece that is above the level of the prior teeth. Should I make new teeth? Is this axe blade done for - retire it to drytooling and buy another?
>
> Or should I just sharpen the teeth and top and allow the axe blade to use its front few teeth as a stop in the ice?

Why are you so worried about this?

I'd suggest maybe giving the tip of the top pick a quick sharpen and getting out climbing. If you get obsessed with taking too much metal off you will soon find that you need to replace the entire pick.
mutt - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to neuromancer:

I guess this depends on what you have in mind, but if you are intending to climb water ice at below -10C you'll need a good point on the axe. higher temps than that the ice is reasonably plastic and a good point isn't quite so important.

I use a diamond block to sharpen my axes after every climb. They are small so much easier to control than a file. when its cold I ewant a very sharp pick.

having said that if you are going anywhere near rock I wouldn't bother because the point will be oblitorated in minutes.

Matt
CurlyStevo - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to mutt:
For ice do you make a new flat section on the bottom at the tip of the blade?
Ross McGibbon - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to neuromancer:
> Who is? NOW i'm confused.

Read the post. It says who I am replying to and I even quote what they said.
If you can't be bothered to think about the advice people offer, then you are being lazy.

neuromancer - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Ross McGibbon:

There's absolutely no need to get rude; your post has a ton of ambiguity in it. You could be saying TO the gentleman you quoted that my point about a flat surface is correct, or you could be saying to ME that the post you quoted is correct.

Sorry for expecting more.

Thanks to everyone else who replied.
mutt - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to mutt)
> For ice do you make a new flat section on the bottom at the tip of the blade?

I've never worn an axe that far but my **guess** is that the manufacturers don't serrate all the way to the tip of the pick to allow the axe better penetration when the ice is very hard. its quite common to only get a cm or so's penetration into hard ice. I think the serrations are there to stop the axe popping back out when its weighted.

bottom line though is that ice climbing is a serious business and you shouldn't be doing it on worn gear. Its dangerous enough with top notch picks. If you can't replace the picks on your axes then I'd start looking around for replacement axes. There has to be heaps of axes littering peoples lofts?

I say that from the position of seeing someone decking out off an ice fall on a cold morning. Not enough axe penetration to hold him on the ice. bearing in mind the number of screws and axes about him at the time I'm surprised he didn't need to be sewn back together.
CurlyStevo - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to mutt:
OK I guess that's possible. I must say though that I've not noticed any difference on ice using my quarks without this flat end bit on the bottom of the pick I've climbed water ice using these picks one morning when the drive over was -20 so I doubt it makes a huge difference. TobyA also uses picks in a similar state in Scandinavia on water ice BTW,
mutt - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to mutt)
> OK I guess that's possible. I must say though that I've not noticed any difference on ice using my quarks without this flat end bit on the bottom of the pick I've climbed water ice using these picks one morning when the drive over was -20 so I doubt it makes a huge difference. TobyA also uses picks in a similar state in Scandinavia on water ice BTW,


fair enough, smiler uses blunt axes and crampons and seems to be okay. personally I would rather spend a few quid on kit and not have to find out whether worn kit is fit for purpose.
rich pyne - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to neuromancer: Hiya Joe,

With regards to sharpening the picks, have a look at Will Gadd's book, "ice and Mixed Climbing". It's got everything you need in there, no confusion.

With them picks,I would just file them by hand, just to get the edges back on, no more, to keep the original shape, which was machined that way for a reason. Don't over sharpen them coz they will dull quicker.

razor sharp tools are good on bullet hard and brittle ice,less shattering, but we usually have the more plastic type here, it's generally not cold enough.

I'll show you how to sharpen them when we meet up (Hopefully). By the way, where we might end up for the Skills stuff, there is usually some ice on the left :-), you can play on there.

regards,

Rich
Alex Slipchuk on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to neuromancer:
> (In reply to Ross McGibbon)
>
> There's absolutely no need to get rude; your post has a ton of ambiguity in it. You could be saying TO the gentleman you quoted that my point about a flat surface is correct, or you could be saying to ME that the post you quoted is correct.
>
> Sorry for expecting more.
>
> Thanks to everyone else who replied.

He's really kinda right with a cherry on top, your reply to the post indicates you really are looking into it to much.
neuromancer - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to neuromancer:

Ho hum, I guess I you're right; the protection of my life and safety isn't worth thinking about at all. It'd be girly to do so.

Sounds good rich, I can't wait!
ads.ukclimbing.com
timjones - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to mutt:

> bottom line though is that ice climbing is a serious business and you shouldn't be doing it on worn gear.


Man up! We're getting too soft these days ;)

Modern ice gear that is worn to such a minor degree as the OPs axes will be vastly superior to the tools that we were using just 10 years ago.

lithos on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to timjones:
> (In reply to mutt)
>
> [...]
>
>
> Man up! We're getting too soft these days ;)
>
> Modern ice gear that is worn to such a minor degree as the OPs axes will be vastly superior to the tools that we were using just 10 years ago.

nah the quarks were available 10- years ago - the flys have been around quite awhile now as well. not that this matters

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